Brighton and Hove's move to regional fire control centre is scrapped

Posted On 21 Dec 2010 at 5:35 am

Plans to move the fire service control centre for Brighton and Hove to Hampshire have been scrapped by ministers.

Under the Labour government the 46 county-based fire control rooms were to be replaced by nine new amalgamated regional control centres.

The £420 million project was over budget and running late, with the South East Regional Control Centre being built in Fareham, Hampshire.

West Sussex Fire and Rescue Authority was the lead authority for this project in the South East.

The regional centre was expected to cover Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Hampshire and the Isle of Wight, Kent, Oxfordshire, Surrey, East Sussex and West Sussex.

Brighton and Hove is served by East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service which had planned to use the Fareham control room.

But yesterday Robert Neill, a Junior Minister at the Department for Communities and Local Government, said that the contract to set up the new control rooms had been cancelled.

The Conservative minister said that the project had been beset by delays and difficulties.

In a written statement to MPs, he said: “The department will cease funding activities directly associated with the project as quickly as is compatible with organising an orderly closing down of the project.

“We recognise that fire and rescue authorities will now wish to review their control arrangements in the light of today’s decision.

“This government do not intend to impose any solution for the future of control room services.

“We will, however, start to consult the fire and rescue sector soon on how best the government can support them, if at all, in developing their alternative plans based on the principles of localism, ensuring public safety, building up national resilience and delivering value for taxpayers’ money.

“These continue to be our overriding priorities.”

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